Mexican, Tonight, Anyone?

I have been making the same ‘freezer burrito’ recipe for nearly 30 years. It comes from one of my favorite and frequently quoted “Best of Friends” cookbooks gifted to me by my mother-in-law. She used to make the recipe for my husband and his twin when they were in college so they would have something hot and homemade in their freezer, whenever the hunger pains spoke loud and clear. Since I, too, enjoy having homemade meals on hand in the freezer, it was an easy one to adopt and the hearty portions which meant we could make several meals out of one pan and a second one was added to the freezer.

When I decided this summer to make burritos for one of our trips up to the lake, I got the urge to try a new recipe. “Let’s branch out,” I said! For those who know me well, they know this is not an unusual occurrence. In fact, what is more unusual is that I’ve been making the same burritos for 30 years. I LOVE to try new recipes and tweak them to make them my own. A quick Google search resulted in Loaded Smothered Beef Burritos by and following a quick trip to the market, we were packed for an adventure to the lake.

The recipe was a huge hit with all the brothers and it was decided, we needed to make a change – or at least add this one to the repertoire. Once arriving home, I gathered up replacement ingredients and at the same time, decided a box of precooked Spanish Rice as the recipe indicated, was really not necessary because I had plenty of ingredients on hand to make my own homemade Spanish rice. Thus, an adapted recipe from was born and combined to make my own version of Smothered Beef Burritos.

Smothered Beef Burritos

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: bean, beef, burritos
Servings: 8


Spanish Rice

  • 2 tbsp garlic or shallot olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or water)
  • 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, garlic & herb
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin


  • 4 tbsp garlic or shallot olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 Vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning, reduced sodium
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 8 large flour tortillas (burrito size)
  • 1 can (16 oz) refried beans
  • 3 cups Mexican shredded cheese blend, divided
  • 1 can (20 oz) red enchilada sauce (you choose the heat)
  • sour cream
  • salsa & chips, for garnish


  • Saute 1/4 cup onion in 2 tbsp oil over medium heat. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Mix rice into skillet, stirring often. When rice begins to brown, add chicken broth, tomatoes, garlic salt & cumin. Bring to a low boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes, and until liquid has been absorbed.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. In a large skillet, add 2 tbsp oil and diced onion. Saute over medium heat before adding beef to cook for about 7 minutes, until cooked through and onions are soft; stir and crumble to ensure even cooking.
  • Add the taco seasoning and water; stir to combine. Remove from heat.
  • Drizzle the remaining olive oil in a 9×13 pan (or two 8" squares). Set aside.
  • Even smear each tortilla with about 2 tbls of refried beans down the center. Evenly distribute the rice, about 2-3 tbsp for each, top with the beef mixture, and evenly distribute 1 1/2 cups of cheese.
  • Roll up each burrito, tucking the sides in before rolling the long sides. Place in the pan(s), seam side down. Cover with foil and bake for about 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven to slowly and evenly drizzle the enchilada sauce over all the burritos, evenly sprinkling the remaining 1 1/2 cups grated cheese over the top. Return to the oven and bake another 10-15 minutes, or until cheese has melted and sauce is bubbling.
  • Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream, and chips and salsa on the side.
  • For a smaller portion, I bake in two 8 inch square pans, and when cool, cover tightly before freezing up to 4 months. Thaw fully before heating for 30 minutes.

Thinking of an entire Mexican dinner? Try adding sliced avocado, chopped lettuce and fresh tomatoes to your platters, and finish off with some fried ice cream or Tres Leche Cake. After all, who can resist something sweet following a spicy dinner? Certainly not me…


Copyright © 2020 Montana Mountain Maven / Tina R. Cusker. All rights reserved.

29 Years of Wedded Bliss

flowers and sapphire ring
Such a sweet husband I have…

28 years of anniversaries were typically celebrated with travel, getaways, dinner out and of course, being a military family, deployments requiring delayed celebrations. Regardless, the day does not go without notice. This year, given the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be remembered in its own way. Since there was no option for a luxurious dinner out, where we would be served glistening glasses of wine, scrumptious meals or divine desserts, I settled on my own way of honoring our lives together – with beef, of course! I grew up on a farm, and beef is in my DNA. There is no other, ok, better meat in my opinion. When I suggested to my husband I could make Beef Wellington, he responded with, “but, that sounds really complicated.” Well, that sounded like a challenge to me, so I was committed and off to the store I went to buy the one and only beef tenderloin on the shelf.

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Korean Beef Bulgogi Bowl

I have been lacking when it comes to my blog, posting only photos and ideas via social media and I apologize for the long absence. First it was the craziness of finishing the semester and then the holidays, but I was also struggling behind the scenes with the format of my posts. I really wanted to find a print-friendly plug in to make it easier for you, my audience, to take advantage of my recipes. If only I had just sat down and looked it up, I would have realized how incredibly easy that task would be. Instead, I avoided it. I prefer it when things come easy and can be quickly ticked off my to-do list. I had convinced myself that it would be hard, or expensive, or just plain time consuming. In the meantime, recipes are piling up, waiting to get some recognition. And who would have thought in less than 30 minutes this evening, I would be off and running?

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